Super Summer Sippers

When it comes to wines that work well during the heat of summer, the French (especially those in the south of France) know a thing or two. And when it comes to French wine, our friend and importer Bobby Kacher is one of the leaders in seeking out top quality offerings at reasonable prices. With that in mind, we stock up at the end of spring, bringing in hundreds of cases of Robert Kacher Selec-tions—refreshing rosés, crisp whites and mellow reds. Here are just a few of the wines from this impressive portfolio: 

2014 Domaine du Tariquet Classic, $9.99 

In the French département of the Gers, the heart of Gascony, the Artaud and the Grassa families have made history. Traditionally, Gascony has al-ways been a breeding ground for the brave. Whether it is the region’s fiercely independent Basque forefathers or its re-bellious Huguenot ancestry, there’s apparently something in the wine that creates the stuff of legends. The history of the Artaud and Grassa families is as epic a tale as they come. With a family tree of colorful and brave pioneers, from bear trainers to bartenders, prisoners of war to Resist-ants, it is no wonder that Domaine du Tariquet has pushed the envelope. The estate has been producing Armagnac since 1912. In 1982 Yves Grassa, third generation wine-maker and father to the domaine’s current winemakers Re-my and Armin Grassa, then made the bold decision to focus on quality wine production in addition to Armagnac. This blend of 45 percent Ugni Blanc, 35 percent Colombard, 10 percent Sauvignon Blanc and 10 percent Gros Manseng is superbly intense for a dry, fruity white. Its bouquet reveals floral and citrus aromas with nice touches of tropical fruit. Light and well-balanced, this wine is a thirst-quenching pleasure.   

2014 Domaine de Pouy, $8.99 

Some years back, Tariquet winemakers Remy and 
Armine added this estate to their portfolio. Domaine de Pouy is located in the foothills of the Pyrénées, near the appellations of Madiran and Jurançon, about two hours southwest of Bordeaux. The cold fermentation of Ugni Blanc from the Bas-Armagnac region captures vibrant aromatics and guards freshness. A blend of 60 percent Ugni Blanc and 40 percent Colombard, the wine has a penetrating floral green apple fragrance, and is loaded with refreshingly crisp and flavorful fruit. It’s the perfect refrigerator white—you’ll want to buy it by the case. 

2014 Mas de Bressades Rosé, $12.99 

Mas de Bressades is regarded as one of the finest do-maines of the Costières de Nîmes. With six generations of viticultural heritage preceding him, Roger Mares bought the lovely estate in the Provençal village of Manduel in 1964. Today, Roger’s son, Cyril, directs the domaine and crafts their elegant wines while his cousin, Alix, manages the estate. Cyril was born in Nîmes and grew up there with an intimate knowledge of the vineyards and or-chards. After finishing his studies in agronomy, viticul-ture and enology in Montpellier in 1994, he travelled the world interning at California’s Chalone Vineyards and under Bordeaux wine legends Bruno Prats and Paul Pon-tallier in Chile. Cyril returned home in 1996 to make wine for his own family with a newfound zeal for quality. This lovely Mas des Bressades rosé is raspberry in color. It displays delicious wild strawberry, raspberry, and rose petal aromas, with a lovely underlying minerality. Power-ful and pure.   

2014 Mas Carlot Rosé, $10.99 

Under the Provençal sun, Mas Carlot is a beautiful oasis of rustic charm. Its foundations date back to the 17th cen-tury, yet the presence of ancient Roman ruins suggests that this land was also being farmed at least 2000 years ago. Paul-Antoine Blanc, owner of Paris’ famous Le Pied de Cochon restaurant in Les Halles, first fell in love with the property in 1986. Paul sold the restaurant and moved to the Costières de Nîmes, tending to the renovations of the winery and cellars. His daughter, Nathalie, followed him two years later after finishing her studies in enology and was transfixed by her new surroundings. She eventu-ally fell in love with Cyril Marès of Mas de Bressades, literally the boy next door, and today, she runs the 75 hectare domaine in the red clay and limestone soils of the Southern Rhône. Rich in galets rou-lés, the round-ed stones offer natural protec-tion against temperature extremes. Energetic and passionate, Nathalie is regarded as one of the most talented winemakers of the Costières de Nîmes. This rosé is lovely, fresh and con-tains loads of rose petal, wild strawberry, cherry, and good minerality. A medium-bodied wine that is rich and fleshy on the mid-palate.  

2014 Sainte-Eugénie Rosé, $11.99 

In 2001, Hervé Gantier and José Ratero purchased Do-maine Sainte-Eugénie in the ancient winemaking village of Bizanet. Located in the celebrated district of Fontfroide, the domaine consists of 60 hectares, 45 hectares of which are planted to vineyards. They distinguish themselves by rich subterranean aquifers, which supply the vines with the water they need to stave off the dry heat. Coupled with breezes from the Mediterranean, south-blowing winds from the Cevennes Mountains work to cool the grapes and help them retain their vibrancy. This is a bright rosé displaying fresh raspber-ry and strawberry notes with a slight touch of minerality and dried herbs. Excellent length and balance, with a dry finish.   

2013 Les Clos, $8.99 

From the estate of Domaine Sainte-Eugénie, this blend of 45 percent Merlot, 20 percent old vine Carignan, 20 percent Grenache and 15 percent Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the best red wine buys on the planet. It’s an attractive raspberry red color with hints of garnet and a lively, complex nose of red and black fruits. Refined, even exotic, with hints of incense, spices (nutmeg, clove, ginger) anise, and tobacco. Soft in the mouth with fresh acidity. Well-structured yet elegant, with fine tannins. Built to be enjoyed with grilled meats from hamburger to flat iron steaks or pork chops.  

2013 Brunel Côtes du Rhône Rouge 

The Brunel family has been in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region since the 17th century and has been fully committed to making wine for five genera-tions. The first vineyard beginning was purchased from the Bishop of Avi-gnon located in the north of the appellation.  In 1971, André Brunel took over the reins of the Domaine. The goal is to produce wines reflecting their region and origin while remaining elegant and wonderfully subtle. This wine exudes very forward fruit, and is a terrific example of super-ripe, old-vine Grenache displaying characteristics of cherries and blackberries along side of the classic Provençal spice and herb notes.